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Chapter 11: operations in Southern Tennessee and Northern Mississippi and Alabama.

Viewing events in the light of fair analysis and comparison, it seems clear that a prompt and vigorous pursuit of the Confederates from Shiloh would have resulted in their capture or dispersion, and that the campaign in the Mississippi Valley might have ended within thirty days after the battle we have just considered. Within a few days afterward, the Lower Mississippi, with the great city of New Orleans on its banks, was in the absolute possession of the National forces. Mitchel was holding a line of unbroken communication across Northern Alabama, from Florence to the confines of East Tennessee; and the National gun-boats on the Mississippi were preparing, though at points almost a thousand miles apart, to sweep victoriously over its waters, brush away obstructions to navigation, and meet, perhaps, at Vicksburg, the next “Gibraltar” of the Valley. Little was to be feared from troops coming from the East. They could not be spared, for at that time General McClellan was threatening Richmond with an immense force, and the National troops. were assailing the strongholds of the Confederates all along the Atlantic coast and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Beauregard's army was terribly smitten and demoralized, and he had sent an imploring cry to Richmond for immediate help.1 The way seemed wide open

Beauregard's Headquarters at Corinth.2

for his immediate destruction; but the judgment of General Halleck, the commander of both [289] Grant and Buell, counseled against pursuit, and for about three weeks the combined armies of the Tennessee and Ohio, not far from seventy-five thousand strong, rested among the graves of the loyal and the disloyal (who fought with equal gallantry) on the field of Shiloh, while Beauregard, encouraged by this inaction, was calling to his standard large re-enforcements, and was casting up around the important post of Corinth a line of fortifications not less than fifteen miles in extent.

Meanwhile the people everywhere had become acquainted with the true outline history of the great battle of Shiloh, and began to perceive its significance. Jefferson Davis, who, on the reception of Beauregard's dispatch of Sunday evening,

April 6, 1862.
had sent an exultant message to the Confederate Senate, 3 had reason to change his tone of triumph; while the orders that went out from the War and Navy Departments at Washington4 on the 9th,
for demonstrations of thanksgiving and joy throughout the army and navy for the victories gained at Pea Ridge, New Madrid, Island Number10, and Shiloh, and the proclamation from the Executive Department recommending the same in the houses of public worship throughout the land, were not stripped of their power by the fingers of truth. They were substantial and most important victories for the Government, over which the loyal people had reason to rejoice. Yet the latter battle was a victory that carried terrible grief to the hearts of thousands, for in the fields and forests around

Cabin of a hospital steamer on the Tennessee River.

Shiloh hundreds of loved ones were buried, and the hospital vessels that went down the Tennessee with their human freight, carried scores of sick and wounded soldiers who never reached their homes alive.

General Halleck arrived from St. Louis, his Headquarters, on the 12th of April,

and took command in person of the armies near Pittsburg Landing. He found General Grant busily engaged in preparations [290] for an advance upon Corinth while Beauregard was comparatively weak and disheartened, not doubting that it would be ordered on the arrival of his chief. He had sent Sherman out in that direction with a body of cavalry on the day after the battle, who skirmished some with horsemen of Breckinridge's rear-guard and drove them, and who found a general hospital with nearly three hundred sick and wounded in it. The roads, made miry by the recent rains, were strewn with abandoned articles of every kind, testifying to the precipitancy of the retreat. Sherman returned the same night, and was sent up the Tennessee, accompanied by the gun-boats as far as East-port, to destroy the Memphis and Charleston railway over Big Bear Creek, between Iuka and Tuscumbia, and cut off Corinth from the latter place, where Colonel Turchin had large supplies. This expedition was arranged before Halleck arrived, and was successfully carried out, after which such demonstrations ceased for a while. No movement of importance was again made toward Corinth until about the first of May, when Monterey, nine or ten miles in that direction, was occupied by National troops. General Pope had arrived in the mean time,
April 22, 1862.
with the Army of Missouri, twenty-five thousand strong, and these, with some regiments from Curtis, in Arkansas, made Halleck's forces a little over one hundred thousand in number.

General Mitchel, in the mean time, with his few troops and the cordial assistance of the negroes, who acted as spies and informers,5 had been holding a hundred miles of the Memphis and Charleston railway, on Beauregard's most important flank, tightly in his grasp. Turchin held Tuscumbia,6 at the western end of his line, until the 24th of April, when a Confederate force advanced from Corinth, for the purpose of seizing his stores (one hundred thousand rations, which had been sent to him by way of Florence), in such strength that he was compelled to fly; but he carried away the coveted property and fell back to Decatur, skirmishing on the way. He was yet hard pressed, so, burning a part of his provisions (forty thousand rations), he fled across the Tennessee River

April 27.
at Decatur, his rear-guard under Colonel Lytle firing the magnificent railway bridge that spanned the stream at that place.7 It was the only bridge over the Tennessee between Florence and Chattanooga, excepting one at Bridgeport, eastward of Stevenson, which was then the eastern extremity of Mitchel's occupation of the railway.

At this time Mitchel's left was threatened by a considerable force under General E. Kirby Smith, that came up from Chattanooga; and the Confederates were collecting here and there in his rear in alarming numbers. His chief objective was now Chattanooga, from which point he might operate [291] against the great system of railways which connected the eastern and western portions of the Confederacy, and by their destruction or control to isolate the active body of that organization beyond the mountains from the scheming head at Richmond, and so paralyze its whole vitality. Mitchel proposed to reach out from Chattanooga a helping hand to East Tennessee in destroying the Confederate forces at Knoxville, Greenville, and Cumberland Gap; and another, as a destructive one, smiting the great founderies of the Confederates at Rome, and breaking up the railway connection between Chattanooga and Atlanta. Already a secret expedition for the latter purpose had been set on foot; and it was more important for Mitchel to extend his conquests to Chattanooga than to hold the posts at Decatur and Tuscumbia. Accordingly, when Colonel Turchin was driven from the latter place, Colonel Sill, at Stevenson, was ordered to Bridgeport, in the direction of Chattanooga, at which point a fine railway bridge crossed the Tennessee River.

When Turchin fled from Decatur, he was ordered to the support of Sill. Lytle's brigade of Ohioans joined that leader on the 28th, between Stevenson and Bridgeport, and, four miles from the latter place, a severe skirmish occurred the next day.

April 29, 1862.
Mitchel, on hearing of the danger to his left, had hastened thither to take command in person. The skirmish resulted favorably to the Nationals. The Confederates were driven beyond the Tennessee, at Bridgeport, with a loss of sixty-three killed, many wounded, and two pieces of cannon. They attempted to destroy the great bridge8 there, but failed. A detachment of Mitchel's troops crossed it in pursuit, captured two cannon on the eastern side, and, pushing on as far as Shellmound station, destroyed a Confederate saltpeter manufactory in Nickajack Cave, at the base of the mountain, half a mile southward of the railway.9 Having secured the post at Bridgeport, Mitchel wrote to the Secretary of War on the first of May,
“The campaign is ended, and I now occupy Huntsville in perfect security, while in all Alabama north of the Tennessee River floats no flag but that of the Union.”

Let us now return to a consideration of events in the vicinity of Corinth.

General Halleck's army commenced a cautious forward movement on the 27th of April,

and. on the 3d of May his advance, under Sherman, was in the vicinity of Monterey, within six or seven miles of Beauregard's lines. It had been re-organized with the title of the Grand Army of the Tennessee, and Grant was made his second in command. That General's army was placed in charge of General George H. Thomas, and composed the right wing. General Pope commanded the left, and General Buell the center. The reserves, composed of his own and Wallace's divisions, were in charge of General McClernand. The whole force now slowly approaching Corinth, and cautiously casting up breastworks, numbered about one hundred and eight thousand men.

Beauregard prepared to meet Halleck. He too had been re-enforced, and his army was re-organized. Price and Van Dorn had arrived with a large [292] body of Missouri and Arkansas troops; and General Mansfield Lovell, who had fled from New Orleans when Butler's troops and the National gun-boats approached that city,

April 28, 1862.
had just arrived with his retreating force. In addition to these, the army had been largely increased by militia who had been sent forward from Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the States immediately threatened with invasion. The organization of the corps of Hardee, Polk, Breckinridge, and Bragg, was continued. The whole number of Beauregard's troops was about sixty-five thousand. Most of them were the best drilled and best tried fighting men in the Confederacy. Bragg was Beauregard's second in rank, and commanded the Army of the Mississippi. Van Dorn was placed at the head of the re-enforcements, and Breckinridge of the reserves. The whole force was within intrenched lines.10 Such was the condition and position of the contending armies on the 3d of May.

On that day General Pope sent out Generals Paine and Palmer with detachments11 on a reconnoissance in force toward the hamlet of Farmington, an outpost of the Confederates, about five miles northwest of Corinth, and then in command of General Marmaduke, of Missouri.12 His troops, about forty-five thousand strong, were in the woods around the little log meeting-house near the hamlet. Marmaduke made very little resistance when attacked, but fled to the lines at Corinth, leaving as spoils for the victors about thirty of his command slain and a hundred wounded; also his camp, with all its supplies, and two hundred prisoners. The National loss was two killed and eleven wounded. The cavalry and artillery pushed on to Glendale, a little east of Corinth, and destroyed the railway track and two important trestle-bridges there. In the mean time, General Wallace had sent out

April 30.
Colonel Morgan L. Smith, with three battalions of cavalry and a brigade of infantry, upon the Mobile and Ohio railway, who fought the Confederates in a wood, and destroyed an important bridge and the track not far from Purdy, by which supplies and re-enforcements for Beauregard, at Jackson, Tennessee, were cut off.13 [293]

Pope left a brigade to hold Farmington and menace Beauregard's right. Twenty thousand men, under Van Dorn, fell upon them on the 9th,

May, 1862.
and drove them back. Eight days afterward, Pope re-occupied the post with his whole force, and, at the same time, Sherman moved forward and menaced the Confederate left. On the 20th, Halleck's whole army was engaged in regular siege-operations, casting up field-work after field-work, so as to invest and approach Corinth, and at the same time engaging in skirmishing with all arms, in force equal to that employed in battles at the beginning of the war. Steadily the army moved on, and, on the 28th, it was at an average distance of thirteen hundred yards from Beauregard's works, with heavy siege-guns in position, and reconnoissances in great force in operation on flanks and center. In these the Confederates were driven back. On the following day, Pope expelled them from their advance batteries, and Sherman planted heavy guns within a thousand yards of Beauregard's left.

Halleck expected a sanguinary battle the next morning,

May 30.
and prepared for it. He felt confident of success, and quite sure of capturing or dispersing the whole Confederate army, for he had a greatly superior force; had cut Beauregard's railway communications on the north and east of Corinth, and had sent Colonel Elliott on the night of the 27th to strike the Mobile and Ohio railway in his rear.

Halleck's expectations were not realized. All night the vigilant ears of his pickets and sentinels heard the continuous roar of moving cars at Corinth, and reported accordingly. At dawn skirmishers were thrown out, but no foe appeared. How strange! Then the earth was shaken by a series of explosions, and very soon heavy smoke rolled up from Corinth. What did all this mean? “I cannot explain it,” said Halleck to an inquiry by Sherman; and then ordered that officer to advance and “feel the enemy if still in his front.” This was done, but no enemy was found. Beauregard

Corinth after the evacuation.

had entirely evacuated Corinth during the night. For two or three days he had been sending toward Mobile his sick and his most valuable stores; and twenty-four hours before, he had sent away in the same direction a part of his effective force, with nearly all of his ordnance. The rear-guard had left for the south and west during the night, allowing many pickets, unsuspicious of the movement, to be captured. They had blown up the magazines, and fired the town, store-houses, and railway station; and when the Nationals entered
May 30.
they found the smoldering ruins of many [294] dwellings, and warehouses filled with Confederate stores. Thus ended the siege of Corinth; and thus the boastful Beauregard, whose performances generally fell far short of his promises, was utterly discomfited.14 He staggered at Shiloh and fell at Corinth.

The fugitives were pursued by the brave Gordon Granger from Farmington to Guntown, on the Mobile and Ohio railway, a little more than forty miles south of Corinth, and there the chase ended. Few captures were made, excepting of stragglers. The expedition of Colonel Elliott, with his Iowa cavalry, had not materially intercepted Beauregard in his flight, for he did not strike the road until two o'clock on the morning of the 30th, when the Confederates were pressing southward in force. He destroyed much property at Boonville, and produced a panic, but the raid had little. to do with the great. result, except to expedite it.17

The siege of Corinth.

Beauregard collected his scattered troops at Tupelo, on a tributary of the Tombig-bee, in a strong position, and on the 13th of June reported to Headquarters at Richmond that he was “doing all practicable to organize for defensive operations.” He soon afterward turned over his army temporarily to General Bragg, and sought [295] repose and health for a few days at Bladen Springs, in Alabama. Jefferson Davis, whose will was law in the Confederacy, on hearing of this, directed Bragg, his favorite, to take permanent command of that army, and he “passionately declared” that Beauregard should not be reinstated, “though all the world should urge him to the measure.” 18 This was a fortunate circumstance for the National cause.

Although the possession of Corinth was of great military importance, and the news of it was hailed with delight by the loyalists, it could not be considered a victory, in its proper sense. The Confederate army had escaped, with its cannon and most of its stores, thereby frustrating and deranging the plans of Halleck; and it was soon again ready for offensive operations. This result was charged to Halleck's tardiness; and experts declared their belief that, if he had remained in St. Louis a week

Halleck's Headquarters at Corinth.19

longer, Grant, left free to act, would have captured Beauregard's army, supplies, and munitions of war.

After the evacuation of Corinth, no military operations of importance were undertaken by the Grand Army of the Tennessee while General Halleck was in personal command of it. The Confederate fortifications at Corinth were much weaker than Halleck supposed, and were indeed unworthy of Beauregard, whose skill as an engineer was acknowledged by all. These Halleck proceeded to strengthen for defense, and as the heat of summer would make the Tennessee River too shallow for transportation for his supplies, the railways leading to Columbus from Corinth were put ill order. A portion of the army was picketed along the railway between Iuka and Memphis; and General Buell was sent with the Army of the Ohio toward Chattanooga, where the active Mitchel was keeping General E. Kirby Smith, the Confederate commander in East Tennessee, in a state of continual alarm for the safety of his department. Mitchel begged Buell to march the combined forces into East Tennessee, but the more cautious General declined to do so.20 [296]

McClernand's reserve corps, employed in keeping open communication with the Tennessee River, was now broken up, and General Wallace was sent to preserve and protect the Memphis and Ohio railway between Hum-bolt and the City of Memphis. He made his Headquarters at the latter place; and very soon afterward Halleck was called to Washington, to occupy the important position of General-in-Chief of all the armies of the Republic in the place of McClellan, leaving General Thomas at Corinth, and General Grant again in command of his old army, and with enlarged powers.

We have just observed that Wallace made his Headquarters in Memphis. How came that city, one of the Confederate strongholds, and most important posts, to be in possession of the Nationals? Let us see.

We left Commodore Foote and his fleet, after the capture of Island Number10, ready, at New Madrid,21 for an advance down the Mississippi River. This was soon begun, with General Pope's army on transports. Memphis was the main object of the expedition; but above it were several formidable fortifications to be passed.22 The first of these that was encountered was Fort Wright (then named Fort Pillow), on the first Chickasaw bluff, about eighty miles above Memphis, and then in command of General Villepigue, a creole of New Orleans, who was educated at West Point as an engineer. He was regarded as second only to Beauregard. His fort was a very strong one, and the entire works occupied a line of seven miles in circumference. There Memphis was to be defended from invasion by the river from above. Jeff. Thompson was there, with about three thousand troops, and Hollins had collected there a considerable flotilla of gun-boats.

The siege of Fort Pillow was begun by Foote with his mortar-boats on the 14th of April, and he soon drove Hollins to shelter below the fort. General Pope, whose troops had landed on the Arkansas shore, was unable to co-operate, because the country was overflowed; and, being soon called by Halleck to Shiloh, Foote was left to prosecute the work alone. Finally, on the 9th of May, the painfulness of his ankle, because of the wound received at Fort Donelson, compelled him to leave duty, and he was succeeded in command by Captain C. H. Davis, whose important services with Dupont at Port Royal we have already observed.23

Hollins, meanwhile, had reformed his flotilla, and early in the morning of the 10th

May, 1862.
he swept around Point Craighead, on the Arkansas shore, with armored steamers. Several of them were fitted with strong bows, plated with iron, for pushing, and were called “rams.” Davis's vessels were then tied up at the river banks, three on the eastern and four on the western side of the stream.

Hollins's largest gun-boat (McRea), finished with a sharp iron prow, started for the mortar-boat No. 16, when its commander, Acting-master Gregory, made a gallant fight, firing his single mortar no less than eleven times.24 The gun-boats Cincinnati and Mound City, lying not far off, came [297] to his assistance. The McRea then turned upon the former with great fury, striking her port quarter, and making a large hole. The Cincinnati gave the ram a broadside, when the latter drew off, struck the gun-boat again on her starboard side, making an ugly wound. The assailed vessel gave its antagonist another broadside, when the ram Van Dorn, that now came up, struck her in the stern. The Mound City hastened to help her companion, and as she bore down she hurled a heavy shot at the McRea, which dismounted its bow gun, which was about to be discharged at her. Seeing this, another ram (the Sumter) hastened to the support of the McRea, and, in spite of two broadsides from the Mound City, she pressed on and struck the bow of the latter vessel with such force, that a breach was made in her through which the water poured in large streams. The Sumter was about to strike its victim again, when the gun-boat Benton gave her a broadside with telling effect.

The Confederate gun-boats were lying on the Tennessee shore, meanwhile, and firing at the National vessels every few minutes, while the howitzers of Fort Pillow were throwing shells, but without effect. Finally, the Benton sent a shell that pierced the McRea. Hot steam instantly enveloped the vessel, killing and scalding many of its people, and causing its flag to be struck in token of surrender. The conflict, which had continued for an hour, now ceased. The McRea floated away and escaped; the Cincinnati and Mound City were too much injured to give chase, and the former soon sunk to the bottom of the Mississippi. The Union loss in the engagement was four men wounded. That of the Confederates was said to have been heavy, especially on the McRea, by the steam. Among the wounded was Captain Stembel, of the Cincinnati, very severely, a ball having entered his body at the right shoulder, and passing out at his throat.

For more than three weeks the two flotillas lay off Fort Pillow, watching each other, and in the mean time that of Davis had been re-enforced by a ram squadron under Colonel Charles Ellet, Jr., the eminent civil engineer, who built the Niagara Suspension Bridge. He had recommended the use of such vessels and had been constructing them under the authority of the Secretary of War.25 But when, with this addition, the National fleet was ready for another trial of strength, at the beginning of June, there was no foe to encounter at Fort Pillow. The flight

Charles Ellet.

[298] of Beauregard from Corinth had filled the garrison with alarm, and on the night of the 4th
June, 1862.
they evacuated that post in great haste, leaving every thing behind them, blowing up their magazines, and burning their barracks and stores. The National standard was hoisted over the works the next morning. The fugitives went down the river in transports, accompanied by the Confederate fleet. Fort Randolph was also evacuated, and Colonel Ellet, whose ram fleet was in advance of the now pursuing flotilla, raised the flag over that stronghold likewise.
June 5.
The same evening the flotilla of gun-boats26 anchored at about a mile and a half above Memphis, and the ram fleet27 a little farther up the river. The Confederate fleet,28 now commanded by “CommodoreMontgomery, in place of Hollins, was then lying on the Arkansas shore, opposite Memphis, with steam up, and ready for action.

At dawn on the morning of the 6th,

the National vessels, with the Cairo in the advance, moved slowly toward the Confederate fleet, in battle order. When within long range, the Little Rebel hurled a shot from her rifled cannon at the Cairo, to which the latter answered by a broadside. So the conflict was opened in front of the populous city of Memphis, whose inhabitants, suddenly aroused from repose,, quickly covered the bluffs and roofs as most anxious spectators of what soon became a severe naval battle. This was waged for a time between the gunboats, when two of the Confederate rams (Beauregard and Price) pushed swiftly forward to engage in the affray. The watchful Colonel Ellet saw this movement, and instantly took a position in front of the gun-boats with his flag-vessel, the ram Queen of the West, followed by the ram Monarch, Captain Dryden. They both made for the two Confederate rams, when the latter, unwilling to fight, tried to get away. The Queen dashed first at the Beauregard (which opened fire), and missed her, but was more successful in chasing the Price. She struck the wheel-house of that vessel with her iron prow, crushing it, and so damaging the hull that she was compelled to run for the Arkansas shore, to avoid sinking in deep water. The Beauregard now turned furiously upon the Queen, when both vessels rushed toward each other at full speed. The skillful pilot of the former so managed his vessel as to avoid a blow from the latter, but gave one to the Queen so heavily that she was disabled. Her consort, the Monarch, hastened to her relief. Dashing at the Beauregard, she stove in her bow, and caused her to sink in the space of a few minutes, but in water so shallow that her upper works were above it. A white flag waved over the ruined vessel, and the fight of the terrible rams ceased. The Monarch found the Queen in the midst of the smoke, badly wounded, and towed her to a place of safety at the shore.

The National gun-boats continued pressing hard upon those of the Cons federates, which were steadily falling back. A conquering blow was soon given by the Benton, whose 50-pound rifled Parrott gun hurled a ball at the [299] Lovell with such precision and effect that she was made a wreck in an instant, and began to sink In less than four minutes she went to the bottom of the Mississippi, where the water was seventy-five feet in depth. A greater portion of the officers and crew of the Lovell went down with her, or were drowned before help could reach them. The battle continued only a short time after this, when the Confederates, having only four vessels afloat (Thompson, Bragg, Sumter, and Van Dorn), and these badly injured, made for the shore, where they abandoned all their craft but one, and fled for life and liberty. The Van Dorn escaped down the river, the sole survivor of the Confederate fleet. Not a man had been killed on board the National gun-boats during the action. What the Confederate loss was, in killed and wounded, is not known. About one hundred of them were made captives.

Jeff. Thompson, then in command in Memphis, after providing for the safe flight of his troops, had stood upon the bluff and watched the strange naval battle. When he saw his friends vanquished, he galloped away and joined his retreating troops.

The National fleet was now drawn up in front of Memphis, and Commodore Davis sent a request to the Mayor of the city to surrender it. That officer (John Park29) replied, that, as the civil authorities had no means for defense, the city was in his hands. The National flag had already been raised there. Colonel Ellet, at the conclusion of the ram fight, informed that

Ellet's stern-wheel ram.

a white flag was waving in the city, approached the shore on his vessel, and sent his son, Charles R. Ellet,, with a message to the Mayor, saying, that the bearer would place the National ensign on the Custom-house and Post-office “as evidence of the return of the city to the care and protection of the Constitution.” The Mayor made a reply to this note, substantially the same as that to Commodore Davis; and young Ellet, with Lieutenant Crankell, of the Fifty-ninth Illinois, and two men of the boat-guard, unfurled the Stripes and Stars over the Post-office, in the midst of an excited and threatening populace.

Immediate military possession of Memphis followed the reply of Mayor Park to Commodore Davis, and Colonel Fitch, of the Forty-sixth Indiana, was appointed Provost-marshal. So it was that General Wallace, of Grant's. army, was permitted to enter and occupy Memphis without resistance. His advent was hailed with joy by the Indiana regiment there and the Union citizens, for they were not strong enough to repress the secessionists, or guard the city against the incursions of Jeff. Thompson's guerrillas.

All Kentucky, Western Tennessee, and Northern Mississippi and Alabama were now in the possession of the National authorities, and it was confidently expected that East Tennessee would almost immediately be in the same-position. [300] When General Buell joined Mitchel, after the close of the siege of Corinth, the latter, as we have observed, urged that officer to march directly into the great valley between the Cumberland and Alleghany Mountains, by way of Chattanooga and Cleveland, for it then seemed an easy matter to do so. Buell would not consent, and again East Tennessee, made confident of speedy liberation by so large an army on its borders, was doomed to bitter disappointment, and the endurance of still greater afflictions than it had yet suffered.

Although Mitchel had assured the Secretary of War

May 1, 1862.
that his campaign was ended,30 and that he occupied Huntsville in perfect security, he was not idle nor less vigilant than before. He not only watched, but worked, and scouts and raiders were continually out on special duties, the chief object being to keep danger from his rear, and the door open into East Tennessee and Northern Georgia. Colonels Turchin and Lytle were sent northward along the line of the Nashville and Decatur railway, while General Negley was operating in that vicinity, and farther eastward, dispersing the Confederate forces at various points. On the 13th of May, the latter went out from Pulaski on that railway, and, supported by Colonel Lytle, at Athens below, drove a gathering force of Confederates from Rogersville, in Alabama, across the Tennessee River.31

Later, Colonel Turchin, who was at Athens, was attacked by Confederates

June 4.
and driven away. In the assault and pursuit, many of the citizens of that village joined. With re-enforcements Turchin returned, and drove the Confederate troops out of the town, when his exasperated soldiers sacked and pillaged the houses of secessionists there, because of their active complicity in the hostile movements. For this Colonel Turchin was tried by a court martial, and acquitted. He was promoted to brigadier-general while the investigation was going on.

On the same day,

June 4.
General Negley, who, in a forced march of twenty miles, had climbed over an almost impassable mountain, northeastward of Stevenson, surprised a Confederate camp of cavalry under General Adams at its foot, at a place called Sweeden's Cove, on the road between Winchester and Jasper, and drove them from it. After a very severe skirmish near Jasper, in which Colonel Hambright led the Nationals, the Confederates were routed and dispersed, leaving as spoils their ammunition and commissary wagons with supplies; also arms scattered along the pathway of their flight, and twelve prisoners. Adams escaped without his hat, sword, or horse, borrowing one of the latter from a negro on which to fly. Negley lost two killed and seven wounded.32

But one of the most important of the expeditions sent out by Mitchel, and, indeed, one of the most daring of the war, was the secret one, already alluded to, sent to break up the railway between Chattanooga and Atlanta. This expedition was composed of twenty-two picked men,33 led by J. J. Andrews, who had been for several months in the secret service under [301] General Buell. He had proposed the expedition to Buell at Nashville, and that officer directed General Mitchel, then at Murfreesboro, to furnish him with the means for carrying it out.34 Mitchel did so with alacrity, for it promised to be of vast service to him in executing his designs against the Confederates beyond the Tennessee River; and that band of young men left in detachments on their perilous errand at about the time when that daring general commenced his march for Alabama. They passed within the Confederate lines at Wartrace, on the Nashville and Chattanooga railway, thirteen miles from Murfreesboro, traveling on foot as Confederate citizens making their way from oppression in Kentucky to freedom in Georgia. In this disguise they went over the rugged Cumberland mountains. Most of them met at Chattanooga, on the day that Mitchel took possession of Huntsville.

April 11, 1862.
Some, who had arrived sooner, had gone by railway to Marietta, in Georgia, the final rendezvous of the party before commencing operations. On the same evening the whole party were at the latter place.

The designated point at which to begin their bold raid on the Georgia State road was at Big Shanty, eight miles above Marietta, and a short distance from the foot of the Great Kenesaw Mountain, where several regiments of Confederate troops were stationed. With an early train the next morning, all but two of the party, who were accidentally left behind, started for that place. While the conductor and engineer were at breakfast, the raiders uncoupled the engine and three empty box-cars from the passenger cars, and started at full speed up the road,35 leaving behind them wonderers who could scarcely believe the testimony of their own eyes. On they went with the fleetness of the wind, answering all questions satisfactorily, where they were compelled to stop, with the assurance that it was a powder-train for Beauregard. After going five miles on their journey, they cut the telegraph wires and picked up about fifty cross-ties. Before reaching Adamsville, at a curve on the summit of a high embankment, they tore up the rails of the road, and placed some of the ties in such position on the bank that a passing train was hurled off and down the precipice. At this point Andrews said, exultingly, “Only one more train to pass, boys, and then we will put our engine to full speed, burn the bridges after us, dash through Chattanooga, and on to Mitchel at Huntsville.”

But more than one train had to be, passed before they could commence their destructive work; and just as they had begun it, well up toward Calhoun, they were made to desist and flee by the sound of the whistle of a pursuing train. When this came to the break in the road just mentioned, the engineer of the train they had passed, made acquainted with the circumstances, reversed his engine, and it became a pursuer. Then occurred one of the most thrilling races on record. Both engines were put at full speed, and away they went, thundering along, to the amazement of the inhabitants, [302] who had no conception of the urgency of the errand of both. That of the pursued, having the less burden, was fleetest, but its time was consumed by stopping to cut telegraph wires and tear up rails. The latter, and also ties, were cast upon the track; but very soon the pursuers were too close to allow the pursued to do this, or to allow them to take in a supply of fuel and water. Their lubricating oil became exhausted; and, such was the speed of the machine, that the brass journals on which the axles revolved were melted. Fuel failing, the fugitives despaired; and, when within fifteen miles of Chattanooga, Andrews ordered them to leave the train, and every man to seek his own safety. They jumped from the train while it was in motion, and fled for shelter to the tangled forests of Georgia, around the sinuous Chickamauga Creek.

April 12, 1862.

Notice of this chase had been telegraphed to Chattanooga, and produced great consternation. A stupendous man-hunt was at once organized. Rewards were offered; every ford, ferry, cross-road, and mountain pass was picketed; and thousands of horsemen and foot soldiers and citizens, and several blood-hounds, scoured the country in all directions. The whole party were finally captured and imprisoned; and thus ended one of the most adventurous incidents in history.36 Twelve of them, after being confined at Chattanooga, were taken to Knoxville for trial, and kept in the iron cages there in which Brownlow and his friends had suffered, in the county jail.37 Andrews, the leader, soon afterward escaped from the prison at Chattanooga, but, after intense suffering on the shores and little islands of the Tennessee River, was re-captured, taken to Atlanta with eight of his comrades, and

Entrance to the Cave.

was there hanged without trial. Seven of those who were taken to Knoxville had been tried by a court-martial as spies, when the cannon of General Mitchel, thundering near Chattanooga, broke up the court, and the prisoners, against whom there was not a particle of evidence to support the charge, were soon afterward conveyed to Atlanta. After a brief confinement, the seven who had been arraigned at Knoxville were taken out and hanged. Eight of those bold and patriotic young men thus gave their lives to their country.38 Eight of their companions afterward escaped from confinement, and six were exchanged as prisoners of war in March, 1863. To each of the survivors of that raid, the Secretary of War afterward presented a medal of honor.39 When the writer visited tie National cemetery at Chattanooga, [303] in May, 1866, he saw, in the cave that forms the receiving vault,40 seven coffins, containing the remains of the seven young men who were hanged at Atlanta, and which had lately been brought from that city for re-interment.41

Before General Buell's arrival, General Mitchel had made an effort to seize Chattanooga. His force was too small to effect it, for Kirby Smith, commanding the Confederates in East Tennessee, was skillful, active, and watchful. Mitchel had asked for re-enforcements, but they were not afforded. Finally, General Negley, three days after his successful attack on Adams, near Jasper, having made his way rapidly over the rugged ranges of the Cumberland Mountains, suddenly appeared opposite Chattanooga. It was on the morning of the 7th of June when he arrived. Toward evening he had heavy guns in position; and for two hours he cannonaded the town and the Confederate works on Cameron's Hill and at its base. The guns of his enemy were silenced; and that night the inhabitants fled from the town. During the darkness Smith was re-enforced, and some of his infantry took positions to annoy Negley greatly. The latter opened his batteries again at nine o'clock, and before noon the Confederates had all been driven from the town and their works, and had commenced burning railway bridges, eastward of Chattanooga, to impede a pursuit. Considering the inferiority of his numbers, and the approach of re-enforcements for Smith, Negley prudently withdrew. Reporting to the military governor of Tennessee, he said, “The Union people in East Tennessee are wild with joy.”

Here, it now seems, was presented a golden moment in which to accomplish great results, but it was not improved. With a few more regiments, Negley might have captured and held Chattanooga; and Buell and Mitchel could doubtless have marched into East Tennessee with very little resistance, and so firmly established the National power there that it might not have been broken during the remainder of the war. But General Buell would not consent to such movement, even when the thunder of Negley's cannon at Chattanooga made the Confederates in all that region so fearful, that they were ready to abandon every thing at the first intimation of an advance of their adversary. See how precipitately they fled from Cumberland Gap, their “Gibraltar of the mountains,” and the fortified heights around it, when, ten days after the assault on Chattanooga, General George W. Morgan, with a few Ohio and Kentucky troops, marched against it

Jan. 18, 1862.
from Powell's Valley. Twenty miles his soldiers traveled that day, climbing the Cumberland Mountains, dragging their cannon up the precipices by block and tackle, and skirmishing all the way without losing a man. They were cheered by rumors that the foe had fled. At sunset they were at the main works, and the flags of the Sixteenth Ohio and Twenty-second Kentucky were floating over those fortifications in the twilight. The Confederate rear-guard had departed four hours before; and the whole force had fled so hastily that they left almost every thing behind them. They had been supplied with food chiefly by plunderers of the Union [304] people. They saw a prospect of a sudden cessation of that supply, so they fled while a way of escape was yet open.

The cautious Buell and the fiery Mitchel did not work well together, and the latter was soon called to Washington City and assigned to the command of the Department of the South, with his Headquarters at Hilton Head, leaving his troops in the West in charge of General Rousseau. For a short

Cumberland Gap and its dependencies.42

time afterward there was a lull in the storm of war westward of the Alleghany Mountains, but it was the precursor of a more furious tempest. During that lull, let us observe and consider events on the Atlantic coast, along the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and on the Lower Mississippi.

Tail-piece — a Canon in the Mountains.

1 On the day after his arrival at Corinth, Beauregard forwarded a dispatch, written in cipher, to General Cooper, at Richmond, saying he could not then number over 85,000 effective men, but that Van Dorn might join him in a few days with about 15,000. He asked for re-enforcements, for, he said, “if defeated here, we lose the Mississippi Valley, and probably our cause.” This dispatch was intercepted by General Mitchel, at Huntsville, and gave, doubtless, a correct view of Beauregard's extreme weakness thirty-six hours after he fled from Shiloh.

2 this was the dwelling of Mr. Ford when the writer visited Corinth, late in April, 1866. it stood upon the brow of a gentle slope in the northwestern suburbs of the village.

3 He told them that, from “official dispatches received from official sources,” he was able to announce, “with entire confidence,” that it had “pleased Almighty God to crown the Confederate arms with a glorious and decisive victory, after a hard-fought battle of ten hours.” He spoke in feeling terms of the death of Johnston, and of his loss as “irreparable.”

4 The order from each Department directed that, on the Sunday next after receiving it, chaplains should offer in each behalf a prayer, “giving thanks to the Lord of Hosts for the recent manifestations of His power, in the overthrow of rebels and traitors,” and invoking a continuance of His aid in delivering the nation, “by arms, from the horrors of treason, rebellion, and civil war.”

The President recommended (April 10) to the people, at their “next weekly assemblage in their accustomed places of public worship” which should occur after notice of his proclamation should be received, to especially acknowledge and render thanks to “our Heavenly Father for the inestimable blessings He had bestowed, and to implore His continuance of the same ;” also to implore Him to hasten the establishment of fraternal relations at home, and “among all the countries of the earth.”

5 General Mitchel informed the writer, late in the summer of that year, that he could not have held the railway from Tuscumbia to Stevenson so long as he did, had it not been for the assistance of the negroes. He found, near Huntsville, an intelligent one who was a carpenter. Having worked at his trade along the whole line of the railway then held, he knew trusty slaves on plantations all along its course, and of the Tennessee .River. He employed this man to organize, among his fellow-slaves, a band of informers, who should watch the river and the railway, and report to him any hostile movements of the Confederates. To every man who should give important information he offered freedom from slavery, among the rewards. They were faithful, and he often checked incipient movements against his posts, in consequence of information received from these slaves.

6 See page 267.

7 That bridge, lying upon massive stone piers, was one of the finest of the kind in the South. It was not yet rebuilt when the writer visited Decatur and crossed the Tennessee in a ferry-boat, late in April, 1866.

8 The river is there divided by an island, and the bridge was a long and important one, as it continued at a considerable elevation over the island.

9 This is a most remarkable cave, and has been explored for more than a mile. For some distance from its mouth it is spacious enough for a man to ride on horseback. This opening in the mountain is plainly visible from the railway near Shellmound station.

10 These defenses were mostly along the brows of the first ridges outside of the village of Corinth, extending from the Memphis and Charleston railway on the east, and sweeping around northward, crossed the Mobile and Ohio railway to the former road, about three miles westward of Corinth. See map of the battle-field, on page 294. At every road-crossing there was a redoubt, or a battery with massive epaulements. Outside of these works on the north were deep lines of abatis.

11 These troops were composed of the Tenth, Sixteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-seventh, Forty-second, and Fifty-first Illinois volunteers; the Tenth and Sixteenth Michigan volunteers; Yates's Illinois sharp-shooters; Houghtailing's Illinois and Hezcock's Ohio batteries; and the Second Michigan cavalry.

12 See page 540, volume I.

13 This was a timely movement, for, while the bridge was burning, an engine that had been sent up from Corinth to help through three trains heavily laden with troops from Memphis, and hurrying forward by the longer way of Humbolt and Jackson, because the direct road was of insufficient capacity at that time, came thundering on. The Nationals, who lay in ambush, captured it, and ran it off at full speed Into the ravine under the burning bridge. The re-enforcements for Beauregard were thus effectually cut off.

14 Beauregard had issued the following address to his combined army on the 8th of May: “Soldiers of Shiloh and Elkhorn :14 We are about to meet once more in the shock of battle the invaders of our soil, the despoilers of our homes, the disturbers of our family ties, face to face, hand to hand. We are to decide whether we are freemen, or vile slaves of those who are only free in name, and who but yesterday were vanquished, although in largely superior numbers, in their own encampments, on the ever-memorable field of Shiloh. Let the impending battle decide our fate, and add a more illustrious page to the history of our revolution--one to which our children will point with noble pride, saying, ‘Our fathers were at the battle of Corinth.’ I congratulate you on your timely junction. With our mingled banners, for the first time during the war, we shall meet our foe in strength that should give us victory. Soldiers, can the result be doubtful? Shall we not drive back to Tennessee the presumptuous mercenaries collected for our subjugation? One more manly effort, and, trusting in God and the justness of our cause, we shall recover more than we lately lost. Let the sound of our victorious guns be re-echoed by those of Virginia on the historic battle-field at Yorktown.” 15

15 The Confederates, as we have observed, called the conflict between Curtis and Van Dorn, at Pea Ridge, the Battle of Elkhorn.

16 It so happened that the Confederates had fled from Yorktown, before McClellan, on the day this address was issued.

17 Colonel Elliott's movement, without doubt, hastened Beauregard's departure. When it became known to that General, a train of box and fiat cars, with flying artillery and 5,000 infantry, were kept running up and down the road continually, to prevent Elliott's reaching it. He struck it at Boonville, at a little past midnight on the 30th, destroyed the switch, track, depot, locomotives, twenty-six cars filled with supplies, 10,000 small arms, three pieces of artillery, and a large quantity of clothing and ammunition. He also captured and paroled 2,000 sick and convalescent soldiers, whom he found in a very suffering condition.

18 Notes of an interview of a Congressional Committee with Davis, who requested the restoration of Beauregard, cited by General Jordan, in Harper's Magazine, XXXI., 616. While Beauregard was at Bladen, he wrote a letter to the Confederate General Martin, in which he expressed a coincidence of opinion with “Stonewall Jackson,” that the time had come for raising the black flag — in other words, giving no quarter — but killing every foe, armed or disarmed, in battle. “I believe,” he said, “it is the only thing that will prevent recruiting at the North.” --See The Weekly Register, Lynchburg, Virginia, April 16, 1864.

19 this was the dwelling of Mr. Symington when the writer visited Corinth, late in April, 1866. it was one of the houses in the suburbs of the village that survived the war.

20 Oral statement of General Mitchel to the author, in August, 1862.

21 See page 248.

22 These were Fort Osceola, on Plum Point, on the Arkansas shore; Fort Wright, on the first Chickasaw bluff; Fort Harris, nearly opposite Island Number40, and Fort Pillow, just above Memphis. Fort Pillow was named in honor of the Confederate General; Fort Wright in honor of Colonel Wright, of the Tennessee troops, who cast up fortifications there a year before; and Fort Harris after the fugitive Governor of Tennessee.

23 See page 117.

24 The engines of the McRea were protected by railway iron, and other parts were shielded by bales of cotton, behind which there was a large number of Jeff. Thompson's sharp-shooters, to pick off the officers of the National vessels. The “rams” proper were protected by cotton and filled with sharp-shooters, yet it was seldom that a man appeared on their decks.

25 These vessels were river boats, some with stern wheels and some with side wheels, whose bows were strengthened by the addition of heavy timber, and covered with plates of iron. Their chief business was to destroy vessels by powerful collision. Their average cost to the Government was between $25,000 and $30,000 each.

26 Benton, Captain Phelps; Carondelet, Captain Walke; St. Louis, Lieutenant-commanding McGonigle; Louisville, Captain Dove; Cairo, Lieutenant Bryant.

27 These consisted of the Monarch Queen of the West, Lioness, Switzerland, Mingo, Lancaster No. 3, Fulton, Hornet, and Samson, all under the general command of Colonel Ellet.

28 It consisted of the General Van Dorn (Hollins's flagship), General Price, General Bragg, General Lovell, Little Rebel, Jeff. Thompson, Sumter, and General Beauregard.

29 See page 249.

30 See page 291.

31 Reports of Generals Mitchel and Negley, May 14th and 18th, 1862.

32 Report of General Negley to General Mitchel, June 4, 1862.

33 Two of these (Andrews and Campbell) were civilians, and citizens of Kentucky; the remainder were soldiers, selected from the Second, Twenty-first, and Thirty-third Ohio regiments of volunteers, Sill's brigade. Their names were as follows: J. J. Andrews, William Campbell, George D. Wilson, Marion A. Ross, Perry G. Shadrack, Samuel Slavens, Samuel Robinson, John Scott, W. W. Brown, William Knight, J. R. Porter, Mark Wood, J. A. Wilson, M. J. Hawkins, John Wollam, D. A. Dorsey, Jacob Parrott, robert Buffum, William Bensinger, William Reddick, E. H. Mason, William Pettinger.

34 Letter of General Buell to the adjutant-general, August, 1863.

35 Andrews, the leader, W. W. Brown, and William Knight, had taken position on the locomotive; Brown being the engineer, while J. A. Wilson, mounted on one of the box-cars, acted as brakesman.

36 The adventure commanded the admiration of both parties. “It was the deepest laid scheme, and on the grandest scale,” said an Atlanta newspaper, on the 15th of April, “that ever emanated from the brains of any number of Yankees.” Judge Holt, in an official report, said: “The expedition, in the daring of its conception, had the wildness of a romance, while, in the gigantic and overwhelming results it sought, and was likely to accomplish, it was absolutely sublime.”

37 See page 37.

38 These were, Andrews, Campbell, G. D. Wilson, Ross, Shadrack, Stevens, Robinson, and Scott.

39 This medal was precisely like that presented to naval heroes. Instead of an anchor at the connective between the medal and the ribbon, there was an eagle surmounting crossed cannon, and some balls.

40 This cave and the National cemetery will be considered hereafter.

41 For a minute account of the daring adventures of Andrews and his party of young soldiers, see a well-written volume from the pen of one of them (Lieutenant William Pettinger, of the Second Ohio), entitled, Daring and Suffering: A History of the Great Railroad Advemnture.

42 Cumberland Gap is a cleft in the Cumberland Mountains, five hundred feet in depth, and only wide enough at the bottom in some places for a roadway. It forms the principal door of entrance to southeastern Kentucky from the great valley of East Tennessee, and during the war was a position of great military importance. It was very strongly fortified by the Confederates at the beginning of the contest, and supporting works were constructed on all of the neighboring heights. The relative position of these, their names, and a general outline of the Mountains at the Gap, and in the vicinity, are seen in the above topographical sketch, by Dr. B. Howard, of the United States Army, from the western side. A small force, well provisioned, might have held the Gap against an immense Army.

explanation.--a, Fort State corner; B, a Fort not named; C, Fort Colonel Churchill; D, the Gap; E, Fort Colonel Rains; F, Fort Colonel Mallory; G, G, G, G, stockades and rifle-pits; I, Lewis's Gap; L, Fort Colonel Hunter; M, Kentucky road through the Gap; O, Baptists' Gap; P, earthworks then recently constructed.

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